Dynamic leadership is key to meeting the complex challenges faced by Universities in Africa today (attracting and retaining quality faculty, embracing learning technologies, meeting increasing demands from society and donors, being innovative, among others).
In line with AAU’s goal of supporting universities leaders to build their skills in advancing the quality of their services and meeting all these demands, various strategic programmes including skills development training workshops have been undertaken. Since 2007, the Association has organised a series of leadership development training workshops (LEDEV) with the just ended 8th LEDEV being hosted by Botho University (BU) from 10-14 August 2015, in Botswana.
The workshop was attended by Vice-Chancellors/Rectors, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Deans, Directors and Chairs of councils from 23 institutions in 9 African countries. The represented countries included Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Tanzania.
In her welcoming remarks, BU Vice-Chancellor Mrs. Sheela Raja Ram mentioned that Higher Education is now in focus as African nations strive to become self-sufficient. She acknowledge that the AAU series has helped the leadership of many African universities to achieve the ambitious goal of delivering employable graduates with shoestring budgets.
For his part, the Assistant Minister of Education and Skills Development of Botswana, Hon. Kgotla Kenneth Autlwetse urged the workshop participants not to be by-standers while the rest of the world is grappling with complexities besieging the education domain.
“My Ministry continues to support and encourage institutions like Botho University to review and reflect on current leadership practices and ensure that quality of Higher Education in Botswana is globally attractive.” said Autlwetse
The Secretary General of the AAU, in his opening remarks said “The prime purpose of the AAU Leadership Development (LEDEV) workshop series is to enhance the leadership skills of university leaders, particularly in the promotion of innovation and the management of change. He expressed the AAU’s appreciation to Botho University for excellently hosting the LEDEV.
University Advancement and Resource Mobilisation; Strategic Planning in African Universities; Quality Assurance Issues in African Universities; Promoting University-Industry Linkages, and Leadership and Governance in African Universities constituted the 5 modules run during the workshop.
The current LEDEV series forms part of the AAU Capacity Development Project for the Revitalisation of African Higher Education Institutions (AAU-CADRE), funded in part by the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF).
LEDEV generally targets newly appointed VC, Pro/Deputy Vice Chancellors, Vice Rectors, Deans, Directors/Coordinators of Institutes and Heads of Academic Departments. Persons who are aspiring to reach these positions or need information on HE management also participate.